Master planning for Summit County Fairgrounds underway
Ever since it was announced that the Summit County Fair would remain in its current location in Coalville, Gale Pace has been mulling over all the possibilities for the two new parcels that will nearly double the size of the current site.
In an interview with The Park Record, Pace said a municipal park or a sports complex would be a much needed and welcome addition to the North Summit area. He also suggested improving the rodeo grounds, adding a building to house 4-H exhibits and an event center.
"I’m really excited about what they could do there and I’m glad it’s (the fair) staying in Coalville," Pace said.
Pace is one of several North Summit residents who have advocated to keep the fair in its current location. In December, nearly 100 attended an open house on the issue.
Last year, county officials had considered purchasing a 79-acre parcel in Hoytsville. However, two properties adjacent to the fairgrounds recently became available and officials decided to rescind the offer. The county closed on one of the parcels and is in a purchase option for the other.
Over the last several weeks, County Manager Tom Fisher and staff have entered into a master planning process for the 12-acre expansion. The county has been searching for a firm to guide officials through the master planning process, Fisher said, adding that a preferred contract has been identified.
"They will be providing some professional support that we don’t have available internally," Fisher said. "They will also make sure we are hitting all the points with our partners and with the public, as well as the regulatory processes we have to go through."
Several entities, including Coalville City, the North Summit Recreation District and the Summit County Fair board, will be consulted during the process, Fisher said. The county has not yet allocated funds toward the expansion.
" increasing the size of this property it allows us to work with our partners to kind of reconceive what that property is and does on a daily basis, in addition to housing the county fair each year," he said. "We want to build things that are more than used just 10 days a year."
Fisher emphasized the level of involvement the public will be entitled to throughout the process, adding that "the public is so integral to it all."
"This is a big undertaking," Fisher said. "The fairgrounds that are there now have been developed for over the last 50 years. We are going into a process to, hopefully, build something that will last another significant amount of time. We certainly don’t want to get it wrong or waste public funds."
In order to properly budget for the expansion, Fisher said coming up with a detailed program will be necessary by October. However, he added that "something significant" will likely be ready to present to the public during the fair in August.
Once the county starts soliciting input, Pace said it is critical that residents living outside of the North Summit area, particularly in South Summit and the Snyderville Basin, also participate.
"I would like to see them included in the planning so that it would encourage Basin people and Kamas citizens to come and give their ideas on how the fair could be improved to attract more people," Pace. "I don’t think they are involved nearly as much as they should be."
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After previous failed attempts, the South Summit High School Gay-Straight Alliance met for the first time Oct. 1.